Manchester City put chief executive search on hold

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Manchester City have put their search for a new chief executive on the backburner after abandoning plans to appoint the former Barcelona vice-president at the top of the club.

As revealed by Goal.com in January, City's high command had lined up ex-Barca general manager Ferran Soriano earlier this year to replace Garry Cook, with Txiki Begiristain, the former Nou Camp dealmaker, working alongside him as director of football.

But Soriano's stock has nosedived since the collapse of airline Spanair and City decided to turn their attention elsewhere after coming close to authorising the most radical shake-up ever to how a leading Premier League outfit is run.

City chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak regards interim CEO John MacBeath as a safe pair of hands until City make a permanent appointment for what has become one of the most prominent positions in the game.

City have been without a chief executive since Cook resigned from his £1.96 million-a-year post last September after the disclosure of an inappropriate email exchange between him and the mother of the club’s full-back Nedum Onuoha.

The Premier League champions employed corporate headhunters Odgers to find a suitable candidate and have circulated they are willing to pay £2m-a-year to fill the post.

City want someone with international commercial experience to help expand the club’s brand globally as well as oversee the £300m redevelopment of Etihad Stadium and surrounding areas in the years ahead.

The club’s Abu Dhabi owners also want the new CEO to have experience of football’s corridors of power and carry political kudos among the sport’s power brokers.

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